CENTRAL AFRICA PRIMATE: "CAPA BISHOPS WILL DECIDE ANGLICAN FUTURE. TALK IS OVER"
By David W. Virtue
An Interview with Archbishop Bernard Malango, Primate of Central Africa.
NOTTINGHAM (6/24/2005)--The Archbishop of Central Africa says that an exit strategy from the Anglican Communion has been drawn up and schism will occur before the next Lambeth Conference, with a new world headquarters for Anglicanism in Alexandria, Egypt, because the North American churches will not repent of their actions condoning "immoral sexual behavior".
In a wide-ranging interview with VirtueOnline, the Most Rev. Bernard Malango said the CAPA and Global South bishops have had enough of talking about homosexuality and when they meet in Alexandria in October they will bring finality to the situation. The Primate told VirtueOnline; "This is not just the voice of the Archbishop of Central Africa, I speak knowing what the Primates of the Global South think and they are of the same opinion."
VIRTUEONLINE: What do you see as the central issues coming out this Anglican Consultative Council conference?
MALANGO: The sexual issues have come out vividly this time, unlike the past where we talked and talked and nothing came of it.
VIRTUEONLINE: What happened at the joint Standing Committee?
MALANGO: When the joint Standing Committee met last week in Nottingham we passed a resolution calling for "listening" in line with the Lambeth resolution 1.10. This was carried out. I presented it and proposed it myself. But then I also said this should not one be one way; there must be two-way listening; the North American churches need to listen to our concerns, but they are not.
We invited the Canadians and the ECUSA, and we have listened to them, and most of their arguments are not scripturally based and they are selectively using bible quotations to buck up their arguments by choosing those passages that support their argument, they conveniently forget significant Old Testament passages that specifically prohibit "man lying with man" and they are avoiding them because it would go against their own conscience and agenda.
VIRTUEONLINE: What should the Episcopal Church and the Canadian Anglican Church do in your opinion?
MALANGO: When the ECUSA meets at their General Convention in 2006 and the Canadians meet in 2007 they should invite Primates and bishops from the Global South to come and share their stories. They should listen to us. That would be a true diversity. Or will they just talk to themselves, because talking to themselves will not solve the problem at all. They will be supporting only themselves. If they listen to what we have to say they will get a better sense of what they should do.
At CAPA we have struggled with this for a long time, now we want to be listened too; and the only way to be listened to is for us to be invited. It should be CAPA people sitting down with CAPA people to find representatives to send to both General Conventions and not simply to be invited as individuals by leaders of these Western provinces.
The CAPA and the Global South bishops should be allowed to choose their own delegates, and not just ECUSA inviting whom they want. True representation is CAPA choosing our own people to represent our own case, and it is they who should be listened too, if they even care about listening to us.
On our part we have listened a lot and for too long, and some resolution needs to be made. This can't go on forever, and we fed up with this process. We need a full and final resolution.
VIRTUEONLINE: What is the best case resolution scenario?
MALANGO: To sort out this sex issue once and for all. What we need is a resolution committee that asks; Are we going to compromise where there is sin? The truth is sin cannot be compromised, we want to be who we are and called to be. Furthermore we don't want to be manipulated.
VIRTUEONLINE: Would you clarify what you mean by being manipulated?
MALANGO: Money is being used to manipulate African bishops. What is happening is that the Americans are buying people and offering them a lot of money to be on their side. That is not the answer. ECUSA is trying to buy poor African bishops and sell them their ideas. The North Americans don't know what being poor is like.
VIRTUEONLINE: What is the worst case scenario?
MALANGO: If there is no resolution and solution of this situation, the Global South will go it alone and we will form a church - a true Anglican Church - and those in the West who believe in the authority of the Scriptures only would be admitted.
VIRTUEONLINE: What sort of cover would you provide orthodox priests and bishops in North America?
MALANGO: We would invite all those bishops, priests and orthodox laity to join us and be a part of this new Anglican Communion. We cannot be talking and talking and talking. Many Primates from the Global South have gone to Canada and the US and have helped those people who have been deposed from their dioceses and synods. This would be the best protection we could give them.
VIRTUEONLINE: Is this pan Anglican province inclusive?
MALANGO: It is inclusive of all orthodox groups who are happy to have one voice on faith and morals. Anybody who shares that vision is very welcome to join us. Divided we are lost, united we win. We are heading for the edge of the cliff and we must make a way for all faithful Anglicans to join together as one.
VIRTUEONLINE: Can you offer some sort of time frame?
MALANGO: We shall meet as CAPA Primates in October and one of the questions will be where a new Anglican Communion will be set up. We shall approach that question very carefully. The choice right now is Alexandria. We did not want it to be in Israel....too political, nor any other Middle East nation, nor Africa, for obvious reasons, nor Europe or Southeast Asia. We think Alexandria, Egypt is best as we can trace our historical roots from there. We can then start from an historical basis. The third trumpet is going to produce the right thing for us.
VIRTUEONLINE: What will be the make up of this meeting?
MALANGO: Each province has been asked to send six people: A primate, senior bishop, senior priest a layman or laywoman and a youth representative - it will be solely CAPA and Global South people only.
VIRTUEONLINE: Is there a timetable for the break up of the Anglican Communion?
MALANGO: It will all be resolved before the next Lambeth Conference. It will all be done within the next three years because we are fed up with talking. We have traveled and talked and a lot of resources have gone into this, resources that should have been spent doing more productive and helpful things like feeding the poor. It is hopeless to go on talking and not bringing about resolution.
VIRTUEONLINE: What final word do you have for the Anglican Communion?
MALANGO: When two elephants fight the grass suffers, and the grass of the Anglican Communion has been stamped on so repeatedly that it no longer looks green and feeds no one. Many of our provinces are no longer feeding people the spiritual food of life and that is a tragedy.
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